It’s a big step to walk through the doors of a hearing health clinic the first time. The first meeting with a hearing health professional, an audiologist, can be an emotional experience For the first time you have to admit that you might be suffering from hearing loss. Facing reality can be both depressing and scary. But hope should replace negative emotions for taking this step will ultimately improve your quality of life. Many questions will come to mind. Will the clinician understand my needs? Will they be able to find the right solution? Will it be difficult to learn how to use the hearing aid? How much will it cost? Am I eligible for financial support? If you want to learn more about what happens during the first appointment at Connect Hearing, then keep reading.
Hearing Assessment (duration: 10 minutes). This first phase of discussion with the clinician will focus on your hearing, communication and symptoms. The aim is to establish your needs, an essential component in formulating the right hearing solution. The clinician will investigate the reasons that led you to make an appointment with the hearing health clinic, and then move on to discuss how your hearing loss affects every day life; those concrete situations where you find yourself struggling most to hear. The clinician will also ask about your medical history to triage any red flags e.g. asymmetrical loss, unilateral tinnitus, ear infection, balance concerns and general health factors that can affect hearing such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Otoscopy (duration: 1 minute). After the assessment, the clinician will proceed to perform an otoscopy test. The examination is required to assess the external ear. Whenever possible, a video otoscope is used for this test. It allows you to see and understand the situation in situ. The clinician will proceed with a careful examination of the auricle, external auditory canals and tympanic membranes, and explain the findings there and then. If the ear canals are free, i.e. there are no situations such as earwax plugs or ear infections, you can proceed with the other tests.
Audiometric test (duration: 20 minutes). This is an evaluation of the sensitivity of your hearing which takes place in a sound-proofed booth or room. The specialist will ask you to wear a headset and then he will reproduce some tones, which start quietly and gradually become louder. This measurement is performed one ear at a time. The lowest pitch you will be able to hear is designated with the exact frequency and intensity recorded at the specific moment. The combination of frequency and intensity is called the hearing threshold level.
The results of the hearing test are presented in the form of an audiogram, which is a visual representation of your hearing capability. It shows how far your hearing results deviate from an expected norm and, if there is indeed a deviation, it shows what could be the cause. The hearing care professional will explain your results and how they relate to the situations you’ve previously described as challenging.
Questionnaire. At this point, the hearing specialist will submit, and help you fill in, a questionnaire useful for understanding how your hearing behaves in many real life situations. To answer it, it is very important to specify whether the situation in question occurs "always, often, sometimes or never". In case some of these questions do not concern you, the audiologist will move on to the next question.
Making an appointment. If your hearing situation can be improved, you will then make a second appointment, usually a few days later, to try some devices without any obligation to buy. If you decide to purchase hearing aids you are covered by our 30-day money-back guarantee so you can return or exchange your selected hearing aids for a different model to make sure you get the right solution for you.